On This Rock
I Will Rebuild My Church
According to the words of the ancient prophets, YHVH Himself is to restore and gather His own house.
"Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith YHVH. 2 Therefore thus saith YHVH ’Elohiym of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith YHVH. 3 And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase."
"For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee. 8 In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith YHVH thy Redeemer."
"YHVH ’Elohiym who gathereth the outcasts of Israel saith, Yet will I gather others to him, beside those that are gathered unto him."
"For I am YHVH thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. 4 Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life. 5 Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west; 6 I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth;"
Kefa has watched and listened as this man, who claims to be the Messiah of Israel, heals, mends, forgives, delivers, restores, opens, repairs, saves and claims to be the Great Shepherd of the flock. Could Kefa have not only recognized these as acts that only God can do, but that these were prophetic acts directly attributed to the restoration of the house of Israel and the house of Judah. Could Kefa's confession be the first steps in comprehending the awesome reality that the restorer of the 'house' and the house Himself are indeed the same thing? Biblically incomprehensible! I don't think so. Is the Messiah the Word of God? Is that which the sower sows in the parable of the sower, the Word of God? Is not the sower and that which is sowed the same entity? According to Yochanan 10, who is our Shepherd? According to Yochanan 1:36, who is the Lamb of God? All this will harmonize with Kefa's confession that Y'shua is the 'Son of God'.
Kefa sees all this unfolding before him as he listens to Y'shua scold the religious leaders for their inability to heed all the 'signs' given to them through and by Y'shua's words and deeds. In other words, the BLIND and DEAF religious leaders should by now have been able to see what Kefa has seen and heard. In Mattityuhu 16:5 we once again have a sod (hidden message) given to us as a hint that something is going to be explained. Anytime you see Y'shua getting into a boat to go to the 'other side', that is the Ruach of God illuminating some light and ringing some bells. This is especially revealing in Mark's gospel concerning the same incident. In Mark 8 we are told first that the shepherd fed the multitudes of sheep. This is the telling of the feeding of the four thousand. Once again Kefa watches as sheep are fed by a great shepherd. Messiah then takes this good news with Him, gets into a boat and goes first to the Pharisees in Dalmanutha. This is where the Yehudim reject His signs and claims, so He gets into a boat and departs to the 'other side', i.e. He is going to the multitudes (gentiles, nations). In Hebrew, the idea of crossing over to better soil, or crossing over to the other side of the sea is expressed in the word 'avar. This is the word from which we get the English word, Hebrew. If you remember in the parable of the sower, Y'shua first comes 'out of the house', an idiom for leaving His own, gets into a boat and travels to the seashore. The word 'seas' is the word yam in the Hebrew, and is also the word for the 'west', the direction, scripturally, of the house of Ephraim or the house of Israel as they were scattered. One of the Hebrew words for 'boat' is the word 'avarah, i.e., the means by which one crosses over a sea.
We now see that Y'shua and His disciples are going to take their ministry to the 'other side'. This same concept is taught in Yochanan 21:6 when Y'shua tells His disciples to cast their nets on the right side of the boat. Y'shua is going to use the faithlessness of His disciples and their need for bread as another clue as to His identity and purpose. It is absolutely amazing to me that these followers of Messiah had just watched Him feed four thousand people with 7 loaves of bread and a few fish, and yet they are worried about starving half to death during the course of one little trip across the sea of Galilee. With that in mind, Y'shua will take full advantage of another opportunity to teach these wayward disciples. Using the two miraculous feedings of four and five thousand people respectively, Y'shua teaches them about the stark difference between the 'leaven' of the Pharisees and the 'bread' of the Word of God. There is a lot of good teaching in the meaning of these miracles, but that will have to be addressed another time. The bottom line of Y'shua's teaching is that the various doctrines of religions and religous perceptions is in clear contrast to the 'bread' that Messiah has to offer. It must be understood that the leaven of the Pharisees is not to represent the teaching of Judaism, but rather the leaven of all religious teaching not based upon the precepts, commandments, ordinances and prophecy of the Word of God.
Y'shua has come to all, not just the Jewish leaders, but to all with a message that He knows in advance will be misunderstood by the majority of people. He tells His listeners once again in Mark 8:17-18, that they are blind and deaf to His words. Messiah will now use the not so coincidental occurrence of a blind man in Mark 8:22-26 to illustrate His point. It is as if He is saying, "I am about to show you what it means to have those blinders removed". Y'shua takes the man who cannot see, spits into his eyes and lays His hands upon him. As this man is in the process of being restored, he first claims that he sees human beings that are tree-like figures walking. He sees men like trees or sticks, only they are walking. The second time, however, Y'shua puts His hands on him again, and causes him to understand (look up) and then he was restored and could now see every man clearly. At first, this man was gazing upon the same evidence but could not make out what it was. When Messiah made him 'look up', anablepo, or receive sight, which means understand in the Greek, the man was now restored and could easily perceive exactly what he was looking at and who these trees really were. Could this possible be another hint to Kefa? True restoration results in the ability to discern what something is, and what it used to be.
I have found that there are many religions and denominations that are in the business of restoring God's Word, but instead produce something unrecognizable to the very thing they are attempting to restore. Kind of like taking a beautiful old Cadillac, restoring it, and coming up with a Gremlin.
Once again, Kefa listens as Y'shua teaches that it is the prophetic Word of God that is our food and not the ambiguous teachings of self-promoting religions. It is no coincidence that one chapter and six days later, Messiah will reveal that Yochanan the Immerser was indeed Elijah, if we will receive it. In Mattityahu 17:11-12 the ministry of this immerser is revealed right after Kefa's confession of who and what the ministry of Messiah was all about.
"And Y'shua answered and said unto them, Eliyahu truly shall first come, and restore all things. 12 But I say unto you, that Eliyahu is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them."
We have still only touched the surface of this teaching. Next time we will begin to research some of the Hebrew background of Kefa's remarks about Y'shua being the 'Messiah, the Son of the Living God'.